The two Irelands have ties Brexit cannot destroy

by on March 14, 2017 at 3:40 am in Current Affairs, History, Law, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

That is the title of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one bit from it:

…the U.K. seems to be in a crisis of ideas, as outlined by Michael Moran in his recent “The End of British Politics?”. He points out that the earlier Protestant, imperial and social democratic rationalizations for the political union largely have fallen away. Scottish separatism — now very much back on the agenda — is one manifestation of this problem. In such a setting, it’s possible to imagine a slightly different legal status for Northern Ireland, where the border check — if there is to be one — is done for flights to London rather than for ground transport to the Republic of Ireland, such as on the ground in Donegal County.

I don’t expect full union anytime soon, as I explain in the piece, but here is the closing tag line:

I’m seeing a world where the past is emerging as stronger than we had thought, and where nationalism has arguably been the most influential idea since the 17th century. That probably means the two Irelands still have some surprises in store for us.

Do read the whole thing.  And now there is talk of a Northern Irish referendum.

I wish to thank Ray Lopez for the pointer to Moran.

1 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 3:59 am

As the Perfidious Albion falls, the peoples it enslaved will conquer again their freedom.

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2 Ray Lopez March 14, 2017 at 8:34 am

Does Argentina and Brazil hate each other? In football? Have the English ever fought the Brazilians? Why did Brazil shamefully recognize the US Confederacy (I guess since they still loved slaves)? 1861-08-01: Brazil recognizes Confederacy. http://www.onthisday.com/countries/brazil

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3 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 8:51 am

1 – The English aggressor tried to conquer Brazilian territory, but was repulsed (not to mention the pirate attacks when Brazil was still a Portuguese colony). Also, during the Navy Uprising, the English suggested British troops would be sent to Brazil to protect “British citizens and business”. President Floriano Peixoto, the Iron Marshall, said any foreign soldier in Brazil would be immediately shot. The British ambassador gave up.

2 – The Argentinian aggressor envies the Brazilian people because they knoepw Brzil was instrumental to srop the tyrant Lopez’s attempt to become the Napoleon of South America and conquer Brazil, Argentina and the so-called Uruguay. They tried to backstab Brazil, forcing us to sacrifice our soldiers while they spared themselves, getting ready to attack Brazil. Treachery is the Argentinian way of life. They also envy us for our superior football. They think Mardona was the best, but Pelé was the best has ever existed.

3 – Brazil never recognized the Confederacy. It only declared it a belligerant, which it was by that point. Also, Brazil welcomed the defeated Southerners. They founded many Brazilian cities. Americana (female form of American) is the most famous of those cities. The Brazilian people is the most generous in the world. Brazil welcome the Jews trying to escape the Nazi terror while Americans sent them back to the ovens… Sometimes our generosity and good will were betrayed. We armed the tyrant Lopez, to help him protect his people from Argentina, and he tried to conquer us. We helped the poor Japanese immigrants, who came here hats in their hands, and they rebelled against us in 1946.

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4 Captain Obvious March 14, 2017 at 5:21 am

I think it would be awesome if Scotland gets their independence, Brexit or no Brexit. For Northern Ireland, why not?

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5 Ray Lopez March 14, 2017 at 8:37 am

Do you think the Greek and medieval Italian system of autonomous city-states was superior to the Han Chinese dynasty, the Persian empire, the Roman Republic or Roman Empire? Why or why not in one Tweet or less.

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6 So Much For Subtlety March 14, 2017 at 5:40 am

If nationalism is making a come back the two Irelands will remain divided. The United Kingdom may or may not be doing so well, but whatever happens to it, a return to the 17th century is very bad news for the Irish getting along.

There is no reason why Britain cannot impose border controls. It should do so. And encourage people to move to the other side if they are not happy. Granting Ireland independence was done with extreme generosity. The Republic has repaid Britain by siding with Hitler, funding and arming the PIRA and generally being obnoxious. Time for those politics to carry a price.

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7 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 7:16 am

One would have been forgiven for thinking, after 240+ years, some Americans would have be able to give up the habit of licking English boots.

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8 Art Deco March 14, 2017 at 11:02 am

The Republic neither sided with Hitler nor funded the Provisional IRA. There was nothing ‘extremely generous’ about the sequence of events by which Ireland was made sovereign.

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9 Cooper March 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm

The Republic of Ireland did not side with Hitler. Tens of thousands of Irish citizens signed up for the British army to fight the Nazis and around a quarter million worked in the British war industry to fill the gaps left by British men going off to war.

The country wanted to maintenance independence and feared that joining the war on the side of the British would diminish Irish independence. They had been under brutal colonization for centuries that had ended only in the 1920s so they were understandably reluctant to risk it.

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10 So Much For Subtlety March 14, 2017 at 9:01 pm

Charles Haughey certainly provided money and arms to the PIRA. While a minister in the government. The government only acted when the Opposition threatened to kick up a fuss. Did he go to jail? No he did not. Stayed in the Parliament. Became Prime Minister. Haughey also passed the Extradition Act to make it impossible to send PIRA men to Britain to face justice. What can you expect from a man who celebrated VE Day by burning a British flag?

Millions of Irish men did sign up to serve in the British Army. And the Republic spent decades after the war persecuting them. Denying them government jobs and funds. There was nothing about being neutral that meant De Valera had to express his regrets at Hitler’s death. He didn’t do that for FDR I believe.

Britain did not think Home Rule would lead to independence. So the terms were extremely generous. Ireland got access to Britain’s markets, it continued to use the pound, Irish men could join the British Army, citizenship was handed out to pretty much anyone who wanted it, there was free movement to the UK. The Bog Catholic Romanticism of the Republic meant that without immigration to the UK and America – and yes that was a nice gift of the British – the Irish Republic would have been starving by the Sixties.

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11 chuck martel March 14, 2017 at 6:41 am

” generally being obnoxious.”

That’s what can happen when one country invades another and treats its residents like farm animals. The immediate victors in such a situation expect a very short statute of limitations for their offense, the long-time losers may not accept any statute of limitations at all. Christians now treat the Roman Coliseum, a place where their ancestors were once fed to lions, as a tourist attraction. Post WWII Europeans are outraged that a building that once served as an SS office is used in the processing of refugees. The statute of limitations is somewhere in between, apparently.

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12 So Much For Subtlety March 14, 2017 at 7:38 am

Nothing like a measured response to prove the reasonableness of your case.

You are comparing British rule of Ireland – which saw the rise of the largest Irish population in history – to the Holocaust? Classy.

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13 Hua Wei March 14, 2017 at 8:55 am

“You are comparing British rule of Ireland – which saw the rise of the largest Irish population in history – to the Holocaust”

Imagine if the milions who went to America or died during the Famine were counted. I guess they should be grateful, too.

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14 prior_test2 March 14, 2017 at 11:33 am

One of the more interesting things learned by visiting a famine museum in either Tralee or Dingle was that vicitims would be found with shillings in their pockets – schillings so worthless that no one even bothered to still them. It provided another perspective on the idea that simply handing out money is the way to cure a person starving to death, one based on historical reality, and not some economist’s fantasy.

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15 prior_test2 March 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

Man – ‘shillings,’ clearly, and ‘steal.’

16 Jason Bayz March 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Go home, you’re drunk.

17 prior_test2 March 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Not yet – and of course, I tend to post from home anyways. ‘Schillings’ is the German spelling, admittedly – though the Germans cannot really give the Irish a good running when it comes to anything to do with drinking.

18 Kris March 14, 2017 at 12:04 pm

I’m sure if the Nazis had been left to rule Poland and Czechoslovakia for a long time, the Polish and Czech populations would have risen to historical levels too.

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19 So Much For Subtlety March 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm

What makes you think that? You know, apart from trying for a cheap shot. The Germans turned out to be pretty good at genocide.

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20 Axa March 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm

……you started the game by framing neutrality as “siding with Hitler”, then expect measured responses. So rational.

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21 Cooper March 14, 2017 at 1:41 pm

1/5 of all Polish people died during WW2.

In Ireland, about a million died and another million fled during the famine years. Total population losses were around 20-25%.

Does it matter if your family were killed in a German gas chamber versus being starved to death on a blighted potato farm? Either way you’re dead and it’s the fault of a foreign government.

I can understand the argument that the two situations were similar from the prospective of the people who suffered at the hands of cruel foreigners.

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22 So Much For Subtlety March 14, 2017 at 8:51 pm

How is an agricultural disease introduced from Latin America the fault of the British government? Or remotely comparable to the Holocaust? The British government response may have been inadequate but it was not genocidal.

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23 Andrew M March 14, 2017 at 7:12 am

So erecting barriers between two trading nations, who have close ethnic and linguistic ties in the border area, is a bad idea. I wonder where else this might apply?

(The answer is the Mexican border. Subtlety doesn’t work on here.)

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24 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 7:17 am

I am not that sure. What if the Irish pay for the wall?

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25 TMC March 14, 2017 at 9:50 am

It would be likely Ireland would be requesting the wall, so they should pay for it.

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26 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 10:15 am

Can’t they make the English pay for it? I am pretty sure it is how it works now.

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27 So Much For Subtlety March 14, 2017 at 7:43 am

I am not sure that is a reasonable conclusion. Rather if you carefully choose your criteria, you can prove that not getting your desired policy outcome is “bad”. However people living along that border might well have other criteria of “badness” by which such barriers would be a good thing.

There is strong public support for less immigration across the Mexican border. Which suggests the criteria used here are too narrow. The Irish Republic turned a blind eye to smuggling which funded the PIRA. There are people on one side or other of that border who might well think that fewer crossings might be a good thing.

Still, with Brexit, the British government should do what the Republic has done. They lowered taxes to steal business from the rest of Europe. Britain should lower taxes on things sold in Northern Ireland. Abolish the VAT. See how much the Republic likes those border crossings when it is used to bring in cheap smokes and booze. Britain would probably save money on a reduced welfare bill.

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28 TMC March 14, 2017 at 9:51 am

” close ethnic and linguistic ties” You have north and south mixed up.

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29 Art Deco March 14, 2017 at 11:19 am

Most people don’t have ‘close ethnic and linguistic ties’ to Mexico.

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30 Andrew M March 14, 2017 at 11:25 am

Many people in the border towns do have close ties. Northern Ireland (40% Catholic) is analogous to Texas (40% Hispanic).

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31 Jason Bayz March 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm

And many Arabs have ethnic ties to Israel. Is it an OBVIOUSLY GOOD IDEA to tear down that border too?

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32 Larry Siegel March 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

You do not have friendly forces on both sides. In the U.S. and Mexico, despite recent heated rhetoric, we do.

33 Anon March 14, 2017 at 7:15 am

Off-topic:

http://www.businessinsider.com/economist-tyler-cowen-trump-placebo-president-2017-3

Placebo for whom?

A placebo often offers a pancea to the affliction.

Certainly he doesn’t seem to be a placebo for the majority who voted against him.

But a relief that TC expects him to be a much ado(mestic) about nothing Presisdent.

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34 Thor March 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

Trump is doing quite well at being the intentional object of Orwell’s 2 minutes of hate.

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35 Horhe March 14, 2017 at 7:19 am

I hope that Romania and the Republic of Moldova will, one day, be another example of a country with shared people, language and history successfully reuniting, especially since things have been going so badly for the Moldovans since the USSR broke apart (not that any of us were doing especially well before that time).

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36 Miguel Madeira March 14, 2017 at 8:04 am

Probably Gagauzes don’t agree.

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37 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 8:57 am

They will be made to agree. As soon as he Slav invader be overthrown , the Latin peoples of Moldova and Romania wil be masters of their own fates.

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38 Andrei Holban-Fediuc March 14, 2017 at 7:24 am

Compared with Scotland, Northern Ireland it’s a different and very interest case. As mentioned in the article, Good Friday agreement and elections from 2003 contributed to an economic and social integration between two Irelands. What is missing in the material is just to remind the engine that boost that cooperation: Ireland economic boom (recently in 2016 +5,2%, https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2017/0309/858381-gdp-growth/). In consequence, there is an inevitable question in mind about Northern Ireland economic dilemma in growth opportunities: IE, UK or a hybrid solution?

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39 Matthew Moore March 14, 2017 at 7:41 am

I wish someone would ask the English if they wanted independence.

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40 Art Deco March 14, 2017 at 11:18 am

Independence from whom? About 85% of the population of the UK lives in England.

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41 Larry Siegel March 15, 2017 at 9:31 pm

The issue of ‘England out of UK’ comes up from time to time. On one of my UK visits there were young men marching in the street carrying flags with the cross of St. George.

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42 rayward March 14, 2017 at 7:46 am

Nationalism and religion are two sides of the same coin. Would Christianity be the world religion it is today if Constantine had not made it Rome’s official religion? Whether he was a practicing Christian or only decriminalized the faith is debated by scholars, but the early followers of Jesus chose Rome as the center of the faith for reasons other than the weather. My own Christian denomination (I’m Episcopalean) resulted from the intersection of politics and religion, the same source of the conflict that separates Ireland and England. For those unaware, the Church of England was the official religion of not only the colonies but some of the states. When I was a child, my church would conclude the Sunday liturgy with a rousing rendition of God Bless America. In Sunday School we would sing Onward Christian Soldiers, from which I surmised that I would eventually be on the front lines with other faithful Christians fighting the enemy. Today scholars realize that nationalism like religion is an identity. As Popeye would say, “I Yam What I Yam and Dats What I Yam”.

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43 Anon March 14, 2017 at 8:23 am

Not always true ; witness the bloody separation of Pakistan and Bangladesh .

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44 Jon Frazier March 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Constantine did not make Christianity Rome’s official religion. That happened under Theodosius thee generations later. Constantine made Christianity legal.

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45 Larry Siegel March 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm

I am glad your church was patriotic but that does not make your state religious. Big difference (the latter is unconstitutional).

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46 dearieme March 14, 2017 at 8:04 am

“the early followers of Jesus chose Rome as the center of the faith for reasons other than the weather.” They did no such thing. What possesses you to make this daft assertion?

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47 rayward March 14, 2017 at 8:16 am

Peter, chosen by Jesus as the first Pope, went to Rome, where he was crucified. Upside down. Paul went to Rome, where he was given a Roman citizen’s execution: he was beheaded. The Gentle religion we know as Christianity was built from Rome, the center of the Gentile world, not Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish world, the latter having been destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The Vatican is in Rome, not Jerusalem.

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48 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 9:02 am

Well, Paul appelead to Caesar. Until then, he was a troublemaker at the periphery of the Empire.

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49 Jon Frazier March 14, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Christianity was built from several centers. Antioch and Alexandria were also extremely important centers in the early Church. Constantinople of course became one after Constantine made it his capital.

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50 Ray Lopez March 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

Wow, TC reads fast. The Moran book is only 112 pages long, but still it’s a bit of a read and I only mentioned it to TC a couple of days ago.

Bonus trivia: I’m currently re-reading–and memorizing–GM Yasser Seirawan’s short classic “Winning Chess Openings”. There are so many openings books in chess, it’s nice to have one that you can pick and just memorize due to the short number of lines it gives.

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51 tjamesjones March 14, 2017 at 11:05 am

I always had you down for the Spanish opening..

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52 Ari March 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Tyler is a robot.

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53 rayward March 14, 2017 at 8:42 am

Complacency. Nationalism. Religion. Enough! Now comes a new genre of anti-self-help books, just in the nick of time. “The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.” I feel better already. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/style/anti-self-help-books.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbooks&action=click&contentCollection=books&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

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54 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 9:04 am

“The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed. ” — http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html

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55 Rags March 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

You can safely drop the part of the url after the ? in most cases. It is an easy thing to check if you are worried, just paste the short version into a new browser tab.

And I think the joke is that this is just another self-improvement book.

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56 Some Guy March 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

What would be the point of unification? According to you libertarian nutters, the future has no borders. Everyone is united in their love for a sterile, transactional existence.

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57 Dick the Butcher March 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

An original rationale for the United Kingdom no longer exists. That was armed, dynastic/succession conflict. Think in broad terms Mary, Queen of Scots, vs. Elizabeth I; and Stewart pretenders and their Jacobite supporters vs. the kings in London. Both sides “weaponized” religion to support the causes.

Truth rayward, We learn/profit far more from failures than victories, assuming we adopt a proper perspective, i.e., don’t melt like snowflakes.

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58 Art Deco March 14, 2017 at 11:14 am

It’s a country with a common language and a 400 year history under one dynasty. It doesn’t need a ‘rationale’, any more than you need one to go on living and breathing.

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59 prior_test2 March 15, 2017 at 3:49 am

‘It’s a country with a common language and a 400 year history under one dynasty. ‘

Most of the former Irish subjects of the UK disagree with that summation, but much like how the Dow removes companies that go bankrupt from its index, it is just easier to ignore what actually happens when keeping a stiff upper lip regarding mythmaking.

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60 Art Deco March 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

They speak English in Britain, in Ulster, and in the rest of Ireland. There’s also been a common dynasty ruling for 400 years. While we’re at it, the Irish Republic amounts to all of 8% of the whole. None of this is altered in the least if Irish particularists or random pompous bores wish to tell you they ‘disagree’.

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61 buddyglass March 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

I get the desire to self-rule. What I won’t be able to understand is if England/Scotland/Northern Ireland/Ireland can’t work out some sort of Anglo-Celtic free trade agreement in the absence of the EU. It just seems like such a no-brainer. Same language, similar cultures, geographic proximty, rough parity in terms of development level.

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62 Ricardo March 15, 2017 at 10:01 am

Ireland is an EU member and so needs to accept open immigration from other EU member states. This means either the U.K. needs to accept freedom of movement or else impose an immigration checkpoint somewhere (either the land border between the two parts of Ireland or between Great Britain and both parts of Ireland) to regulate entry of EU citizens.

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63 Art Deco March 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

The general barrier to more unifications is that national political coalitions and elites are more cemented in than before;

The general barrier to unification would be that the Catholic population of Ulster is at best ambivalent about the idea and the Protestant population is dead set against it.

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64 Jason Bayz March 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm

“First, by no means does everyone in Northern Ireland consider themselves Irish rather than British. ”

That’s quite an understatement, the large majority of the North Irish consider themselves British rather than Irish.

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65 Ray Lopez March 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I think nationality is a state of mind, speaking as a dual national myself. The striker Rooney (“Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer who plays for and captains both Manchester United and the England national team”) said he is “English through and through” though he qualifies I believe for being on the Irish team.

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66 Jackson Layers March 15, 2017 at 10:21 pm

It will be interesting to see where the outcome of Brexit plays out, as we need to be extremely watchful with how we go about doing things, as only then we will be able to perform better. I work with OctaFX broker and with them; I always keep eye on the happening to do with their daily market updates which is very cool and s free, so that really helps with working nicely and also keeps the comfort level. I really enjoy it all and make me feel good.

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